From the outside, a warehouse and a fulfillment center both appear to be very similar in that they are both usually very large buildings with several overhead doors and shipping docks. This allows trucks to easily pull in for loading or unloading of pallets full of goods for efficient pickups and deliveries.
Both types of buildings hold physical products of inventory for a wide range of business types, although this may be where the similarities end. Each type of building provides very different services for their customers even though the one thing going in and out are packaged products. Most packages are delivered in corrugated boxes for shipping and may have been sent by a secondary packaging provider straight to a warehouse or fulfillment center.
What Is a Typical Warehouse?
The main purpose of a warehouse is to store goods for a particular amount of time, either short-term or long-term. Warehouses can provide a cost-effective method for companies to store excess material and can free up capacity for manufacturers to continue to produce more goods. Depending on the type of business and production requirements, a warehouse may allow businesses to expand versus operating with limited space thus limiting production and sales.
Warehouses are typically laid out for efficient storage with rows of stacked shelves holding organized boxes, containers, or storage bins. An automated inventory system like one that allows for scanning barcodes can help companies to have a real-time accurate count of all goods stored in the warehouse at any given moment. Storing goods on pallets and using forklifts to organize material is an efficient way of organizing products in a warehouse.
What Is a Typical Fulfillment Center?
A fulfillment center is quite different than a warehouse in that it is typically bustling with activity moving packaged goods from inventory to shipping and on to their next destination. Many fulfillment centers contain complex machinery and equipment such as programmed conveyor belts and automatic scanning equipment to route packages to the proper destination for shipping. The next time you order something from Amazon and it arrives on your doorstep the following day, it was most likely shipped from the closest fulfillment center.
E-commerce companies and subscription services may utilize the services of a fulfillment center to get their products to consumers as quickly as possible, which is the main goal of a fulfillment center. In some cases, packages may even be routed from a warehouse to a fulfillment center and then on to the end user. Businesses that sell direct to consumers through e-commerce will utilize the services of a fulfillment center to efficiently pick their products from inventory and ship them according to online sales orders.
Who Packages the Goods for Warehouses and Fulfillment Centers?
One thing that both of these types of buildings have in common, is that the main commodity is always packages. Whatever item is being stored or picked for fulfillment better be packaged properly so that it does not come apart at the seams when being moved around in a warehouse or rolling down a conveyor belt. Businesses that utilize warehouses and fulfillment centers must have a reliable packaging service to keep their products moving to meet deadlines.
Some businesses perform this packaging in-house while others have realized the benefits of outsourcing packaging to contract packaging companies.
PPS Is a Leading Contract Packaging Company
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, is a recognized leader among contract packaging companies providing high quality packaging services for warehouses and fulfillment centers. PPS offers high-quality secondary packaging solutions such as flexible packaging, gift set packaging, variety packaging, as well as kitting and assembly. We differ from other secondary packaging providers in that our main focus is on providing jobs to our highly skilled staff of employees with alternate abilities instead of focusing on profits.
PPS is blessed with a dedicated team of highly skilled individuals who love to come to work every day and go above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. We utilize modern, automated equipment in our state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to dedicate customized packaging workstations to meet specific requirements. Contact us to learn how to improve your warehouse or fulfillment center operations with cost-efficient secondary packaging solutions that meet your delivery schedules and your budget.